D'Artagnan travels to Paris hoping to become a musketeer, one of the French king's elite bodyguards, only to discover that the corps has been disbanded by conniving Cardinal Richelieu, who secretly hopes to usurp the throne. Fortunately, Athos, Porthos and Aramis have refused to lay down their weapons and continue to protect their king. D'Artagnan joins with the rogues to expose Richelieu's plot against the crown.
What's more overdone? The gratuitous cleavage shots or the catchphrase? I did enjoy 'The Three Musketeers' - but boy is there a load of cleavage shoved in your face. The famous Musketeer phrase is also said a lot. This film is a little bit of a weird one, in terms of how I feel about it. It's clearly enjoyable but I wasn't sure if it deserves the step above rating that I've given, by the end I think it just about gets there. I like the plot, the locations and pacing, but it took a relative while for the cast to grow on me. Chris O'Donnell (D'Artagnan) and Oliver Platt (Porthos) would be my standouts, I liked both of them pretty much from the beginning; it's my first time seeing O'Donnell, away from his 'Batman' appearances, though have seen Platt a number of times. Charlie Sheen (Aramis) and Kiefer Sutherland (Athos) are the ones who don't work amazingly in my opinion. I don't love their acting styles here, while I didn't sense enough chemistry between the two - and Platt, for that matter. Tim Curry, meanwhile, is always hit-and-miss to me - not helped by the fact that 'Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties' is my biggest memory of him, I'm constantly hearing Prince XII whenever he talks - my apologies, Mr. Curry. Lastly for the cast, it's also interesting (for me) seeing Paul McGann involved - I've very recently become aware of him through television's 'Luther'. Funny ol' world. Sorry for the few tangents there. My final thoughts on this film: It's entertaining. Worth a watch.
They say a hero is only as good as the villain. If, by the same token, a villain is only as bad as the hero, then The Three Musketeers has, proportionately speaking, the best villains of any movie. Tim Curry and the diabolical Michael Wincott are inspired choices for Cardinal Richelieu and the Count (for some reason Captain in this movie) de Rochefort. In contrast, Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O'Donnell, and Oliver Platt as Aramis, Athos, D'Artagnan, and Porthos, respectively, are like the Three Stooges without Moe, Larry, and Curly (i.e., Shemp, Joe, and Joe). Athos, Porthos, Aramis, d'Artagnan; for those who have read Dumas's Musketeers saga, these aren't mere mortals; they are titans, demigods, princes of the Universe. Even The Man in the Iron Mask – an otherwise bad movie – knew that the Musketeers demand actors who can throw their weight around; in that case, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gérard Depardieu, and Gabriel Byrne (no points for guessing Depardieu's role). Sutherland is the only film actor among the quote-unquote heroes; the rest are glorified TV stars. Sheen in the role of Aramis is simply outrageous; it's true that both the character and the actor are fond of women, but Aramis likes ladies and Sheen likes whores, and it's safe to say that the actor and the character make their conquests in very different circles. Moreover, Aramis has class, grace, and elegance; Sheen, on the other hand, has exactly what he deserves (this film was released just six years after Wall Street, but Sheen's career even then was for all intents and purposes over). As for O'Donnell, what can you really say about him? Dumas's original novel opens with one of the best father-and-son heart-to-hearts in literature (although the gold standard remains Polonius and Laertes in Hamlet). At the beginning of The Three Musketeers, though, D'Artagnan Sr. is already pushing daisies; “my father was a musketeer”, boasts Junior; “the personal bodyguard of the King”, to which someone, quite rightly, replies: “the King was assassinated. Your father was a failure". If it's any consolation, at least he wasn't as big a flop as this movie (which ends on a very positive note, and not just because it's finally over; similar to its protagonists and antagonists, its official theme song is as good as the movie is bad).